How I Suffered Sexual Molestation, Mental Health Problems As A Child – Dele Alli 

11 months ago
2 mins read

Anglo-Nigerian midfielder Dele Alli on Thursday opened up on his mental health struggles and revealed he was sexually abused as a child.

In an emotional interview with Gary Neville on The Overlap podcast, the former Tottenham and England midfielder said he has just returned from six weeks in rehab to treat an addiction to sleeping pills as a result of childhood trauma.

Alli, whose father is from the Yoruba tribe in South western Nigeria but got married to an English, revealed he was molested by a friend of his biological mother as a six-year-old, started smoking at seven and selling drugs aged eight, and was sent to Africa to live with his biological father for six months to “learn discipline.”

Alli’s parents eventually divorced and he was adopted by another family.

The England international admitted wanting to retire at just 24 after losing his place in Jose Mourinho’s Spurs side but insisted he is now “mentally in the best place I’ve ever been” and has got his “passion back for football”.

The Everton player, 27, said he had hoped speaking out would help other people battling similar demons.

“Now is probably the right time for me to tell people what’s been going on,” Dele told former Manchester United and England Star, Gary Neville.

“I’m scared to talk about it, but I think it’s the right thing to do.

“I’m hoping [opening up like this] helps people. It will help me. I think it’s something I needed to explain and get off my chest.

“When I came back from [a loan spell in] Turkey, I found out that I need an operation, I was in a bad place mentally and I decided to go to a modern-day rehab facility. They deal with addiction, mental health, and trauma.

Alli also accused Amazon of not giving the full picture over his relationship with former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.

Alli starred in Mourinho’s opening match, a 3-2 win at West Ham, but quickly fell down the Special One’s pecking order and struggled to win the faith of the former Chelsea and Manchester United boss.

Mourinho infamously branded Alli ‘lazy’ in the most memorable scene from Amazon’s ‘All or Nothing’ documentary that gave a behind the scenes look into the fallout from Pochettino’s sacking and the way in which Mourinho attempted to galvanise the squad he inherited.

“I’m glad you asked me about that [Jose Mourinho calling me lazy], so that lazy comment people all love to bring that up, that interview obviously that was on Amazon,”the player who insists that his dealing with Mourinho were not as fractious as was made out.

‘’He called me lazy – that was the day after recovery day. A week later, he apologised to me for calling me lazy because he’d seen me actually train and play.

‘’But that wasn’t in the documentary, and no one spoke up about that because it was only me and him,” Alli said ruefully.


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